Global Services Coalition Warns Against Proposed Indian Data Localisation
The Global Services Coalition (GSC), of which ASR is a member, has written to the government of India to express its concerns about certain aspects of the Draft National e-Commerce Policy, particularly its proposals for mandatory data localisation requirements.
India is a significant hub for international e-Commerce, and as such the GSC is alarmed that the draft policy leans heavily toward protectionism. It would be easy for investors to conclude that the Policy as a whole, despite certain safeguards, tends towards localisation of data and the prevention of cross-border data movement and data processing. The GSC has requested urgent clarification that this is not the intention of the Indian government.
Furthermore, the GSC argues that uncertainty about the extent of data localisation may disadvantage India’s own outsourcing industry as well as discourage foreign business from making use of Indian suppliers. As the GSC statement concludes:
All in all, the GSC would suggest that the Government of India need not rely on data localisation requirements to address its data privacy and security concerns. For example, the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules provide a useful voluntary set of privacy principles that can guide data protection practices and procedures. Major global markets with large digital footprints such as Australia, Japan and Singapore also have a wide range of legal processes to govern cross-border data transfers such as accountability, binding corporate rules, contractual clauses, and consent.